Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers, and an avid movie lover. Keep an eye out for more of her movie reviews and local Hollywood news in Rough Draft.

Thanksgiving is here, and with it comes the requisite time spent hanging out with your extended family for hours on end. While we’ll all be happy to see each other this holiday season – especially after last year – if you feel yourself getting a little overwhelmed from the constant family time, why not grab your loved ones, head to the movie theater, and sit in a dark room not speaking for a couple of hours? 

If you’re having trouble deciding which movie to choose, here are five upcoming films I’m personally looking forward to this Thanksgiving.

1. “King Richard” — Starring Will Smith in a come-back role, “King Richard” tells the origin story of tennis phenoms Venus and Serena Williams through the lens of their father and coach Richard Williams. It’ll be interesting to see how the film tackles Richard’s legacy — he hasn’t always been such a sympathetic public figure — but the movie’s getting real buzz as a holiday crowd-pleaser, so this might be a great choice for the whole family. King Richard opens in theaters and on HBO Max on Nov. 19

2. “House of Gucci” — Ridley Scott has had quite the year, pushing out the gritty Medieval drama “The Last Duel” in October, and now the decidedly more campy “House of Gucci” in November. While I can’t yet say if “House of Gucci” will be GOOD, I do think it looks like a fun, melodramatic romp with all the fashion, murder, and questionable Italian accents you could wish for. “House of Gucci” will be playing exclusively in theaters on Nov. 24

3. “Encanto” — If you’ve got small children to entertain this Thanksgiving, look no further than this Disney musical. With songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda (that guy seems to be everywhere, doesn’t he?), “Encanto” follows the Madrigal family, who are all blessed with a magical ability of some sort — all except Mirabel. I’m especially excited about this one, not just because I’m a sucker for a musical, but because a lot of the same team that worked on Disney’s “Moana” is also present here. It should be a fun time for all! Encanto will be playing exclusively in theaters on Nov. 24

4. “C’mon C’mon” — Following up 2016’s beloved “20th Century Women,” director Mike Mills is back with “C’mon C’mon,” a black-and-white drama starring Joaquin Phoenix as a radio journalist who bonds with his young nephew on a cross-country road trip. This may not be the flashiest movie of the bunch, but Mills always brings a really grounded, intimate feel to his work, and hopefully this is no different. “C’mon C’mon” will be playing exclusively in theaters on Nov. 19.

5. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” — Speaking of flashy, your favorite ghostbusters are back – well, at least their offspring are. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (above) is set 30 years after the original film, and will feature some returning cast members in reprising roles. The movie has received middling to poor reviews so far, but it’s sure to dredge up some of that good old ’80s nostalgia, and have you singing “who ya gonna call?” all holiday season long. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” will be playing exclusively in theaters on Nov. 19.

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.